The sports emblem is not just an attractive picture. A logo, symbol, or any sports sign must create high-quality and compelling visual storytelling, a unique story, a strong contribution to the fan community, and effectively solve commercial problems. This also applies to the NBA, in which the brightness of the game and the spirit of competition permeate every match, championship, any competition. Complemented by the colorful emblems of the participating teams, each sporting event is forever imprinted in the memory of fans and spectators, just like the results of past games. With immersion in the special world of emblems of basketball teams, members of the NBA realize that each logo has its important purpose – an attractive representation of the team, city, symbol, or character in the best possible way. With the right graphical representation, players and teams have a real opportunity to stand out from the competition. The most spectacular and original graphic images are remembered from the first time and remain forever in the memory of spectators and fans.
10 Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers began their history as a basketball team in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with the silhouette of their region on their first emblem. After moving to California in the 60s, the team changes its image, adopting a blue-and-white wordmark as a logo. The predecessor of the modern emblem was the image of the first badge of the Lakers in 1967 in the form of a yellow basketball. Unlike the modern version, it was distinguished by a darker color and muted shades of corporate colors. Changes in the logo took place in 1976 when the colors of the emblem acquired brightness and saturation. The current version was developed in 2001. All shades have been redesigned, providing the perfect yellow-purple palette, making the mark the most recognizable. The ball acquired a rich yellow color; its lines and the word mark applied to the front of the image – the team’s full name, is made in a deep purple hue. The text is made with a right slope, symbolizing the speed of the game and the dynamics of movement. To enhance this effect, short dashes of various sizes are made on the left side of each element of the letters of the word Lakers.
9 Boston Celtics
The modern logo of the Boston Celtics, an American basketball team, founded in 1946, is made in a very attractive form, which is facilitated by the personality of its sly character. The appearance of a laughing leprechaun in the early 50s was a tribute to the large Irish diaspora in Boston. This became the basis for choosing the team’s name, which means “Celts” in translation. The green background filling the circle, in front of which is a character with a pipe in his mouth and twirling a basketball on his index finger, was chosen to commemorate the club’s history, whose first logo was a green circle with a shamrock. The current version of the emblem was installed in 1996 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the club. It uses, in addition to green and white colors – gold, black and brown. In memory of its successful past, the brand uses the image of a green shamrock on the leprechaun’s hat and clothes. The ball and its cane are brown. The club’s full name is written around the green circle behind the character in white paint. All elements are balanced and refined, giving the logo a flawless professional look while demonstrating the club’s core values, tradition, and roots.
8 Miami Heat
In 1988, the Miami Heat, a professional basketball club based in Miami, Florida, was founded and today uses an updated version of the emblem designed at the beginning of its formation. The new logo retained its original concept, style features, and color palette. Miami Heat’s wordmark was bold black sans serif with a slight right slant. The image is a dark red basketball with orange flames erupting from its bottom, flying into a stylized basketball hoop. Thanks to modern technologies, the contours of the image have acquired perfect sharpness, and the proportions of all elements have ensured a harmonious visual perception of the logo. The symbolic meaning of the emblem is the speed, strength, and accuracy characteristic of the team’s game.
7 Charlotte Hornets
The NBA basketball team, the Charlotte Hornets, founded in 1988 in Charlotte, North Carolina, has an interesting history. She bore this name from 1998 to 2004, corresponding to her first emblem. Over the next decades, the team changed its name to the Charlotte Bobcats, which led to the need for a complete change in its identity. But in 2014, she returned to the original version, the visualization of which has gained modernity, style, and some sophistication when the emblem is executed in dark turquoise and rich blue colors. The character of the updated brand is a formidable alien hornet with sharp white wings. He carries a sign with a two-level inscription on his paws – Charlotte Hornets, which is made in a specially designed, non-standard font. Thanks to its quirkiness, the word mark provided the uniqueness and ease of remembering the brand emblem.
6 Phoenix Suns
In 2013, the Phoenix Suns basketball team of Phoenix, Arizona, unveiled their new logo based on the previous version. A radically rethought color palette distinguishes it. The emblem, made in a strict black-and-white color scheme, in which the image of an orange ball piercing a light-orange star-shaped hole in a black background became an accent element, has become more attractive and memorable. The composition of the ball and the hole became a kind of stylized reflection of the “shining sun,” which provided a very strong accent, emphasizing that the main thing for the brand in sports. In its form, the team’s badge resembles a black and white geometric coat of arms, highlighting the club among similar clubs that prefer bright colors and original design.
5 Washington Wizards
After experimentation over several years, Washington DC’s Washington Wizards basketball club created an original, eye-catching, confident, modern design for their crest. Since its formation in 1961, the team has changed its name six times; the current one was adopted in 1997, and its identity has become a worthy successor to the previous visualization. Having retained its predecessor’s iconic and recognizable character, the new logo, with a changed name, acquired surprisingly attractive graphics with its simplicity of execution and ease of remembering. A perfectly shaped round medallion in the patriotic blue, red and white colors of the American flag evokes positive emotions in all American fans. The accent star in the central part of the composition is made in a gradient gray color, and the three-dimensional inscription adds to the attractiveness of the logo. The contrasting and strongest color in the color palette, white, was softened by reducing its brightness, which allowed the viewer to embrace the entire composition more fully.
4 Milwaukee Bucks
One of the NBA sports club members, playing under the original symbol sign, is a basketball team from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, founded in 1968 under the name Milwaukee Bucks. Her main character is a deer. This visual image became the team’s emblem at its formation. But in 2015, the brand identity underwent some changes, allowing the team’s symbol to show all its true strength and grace in graphic design. The logo is elegant due to beige and green colors, radiating calm and confidence. It is perfectly balanced thanks to the pure display of lines and shapes. In the modern clear drawing of the deer’s head, the pure geometric sans-serif font is written along the lower part of the inner circle, making the image easy to read in various sizes, both in the typographic and digital display. Through this, the character effectively conveys a sense of strength and determination characteristic of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team.
3 Toronto Raptors
Today, the Toronto Raptors are the only Canadian team in the NBA. It features a strong and memorable logo, the first version of which was developed in 2015. Today, the team is reimagining the concept with a minimalist and strong design built around a basketball whose seams look like dinosaur claw marks. The 2020 redesign made the center part of the badge stand out by using an accent color combination of a dark red sword in the center and black in which the seams of the claw marks and the rest of the circular badge are stitched. This combination added to the mood, allowing you to feel the strength of the fighting spirit, making it visual and tangible. The club’s name was printed in pure white to provide better color balance and proportions and enhance contrast.
2 Atlanta Hawks
One of the original logo carriers, which uses the image of birds or animals, is the Atlanta Hawks professional basketball team, founded in 1946 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Over the years of its existence, the club changed its identity several times until, in 2020, it found its ideal emblem. Its original version, created in 2015, has acquired brightness and color saturation in a modern version, with a high degree of contrast. As a result, it has become one of the most striking and stylish logos in the history of the Association. The main element of the logo, made in the form of a round medallion, is a stylized image of the profile of a hawk’s head, made in white on a rich red background. The profile is placed in the central white circle of the image. A shadow effect was applied along the figure’s contour for its clear visual perception. Inside the red outer circle, bordered by a white line, the club’s name is applied in white, made in a thin and light openwork font with minimal kerning. It is characterized by the presence of enlarged serifs, which provides a special attraction of attention to the entire composition.
1 Chicago Bulls
The most famous American basketball team, the undisputed leader of the NBA, the professional club Chicago Bulls, has the emblem most popular in the sports environment. Founded in 1966 in Chicago, Illinois, the team has always been represented by its main mascot – Bull Benny. He first appeared in 1969 in red, becoming one of the oldest characters in professional sports. The brand has acquired another mascot named Benny’s cousin, whose name was Da Bull in 1995, bearing the number 95 and having a more brutal expression. The current logo was designed in 1996 and has not undergone any changes in the future. It is distinguished by brightness, strength, and pressure in the presence of brutality and provides visual balance. The dark redhead and sharp horns with their white base became the main symbol of the team’s graphic visualization. The logo above this image is a wordmark – Chicago Bulls, made in black. The text is located on two levels with padding placed in the center. The font used is distinguished by the presence of serifs, smooth lines, and small curves, which softens the sharpness of the graphics and reduces the aggressiveness of the image.